The power of Facebook and Instagram ads is well known to everyone. Whether you’re advertising your product in Jamaica, the Bahamas, or anywhere else in the world, you should always stay involved with your target audience. Social media gives you the power of visuals to advertise your product.
As a marketer, we often see companies using the “Boost post” button on Facebook. It is a great way for companies to easily create ads, but it is something that a marketer should never do. After all, digital marketing is all about optimizing your ads, and the first step to optimizing your content is tracking the results of the existing ones. By creating ads in the Ads Manager and having your Facebook linked to your Google Analytics, it is possible to track your results and improve your ads. All you need to do is set up your URL parameters on Facebook.
What are URL parameters on Facebook?
You’re probably asking yourself, “But what are URL parameters exactly?” The URL parameters are an extension of the URL that links to your website. For example, our own website’s URL is https://profoundprojects.com/, and the URL parameter goes right behind the URL. It makes the URL look something like this: “https://profoundprojects.com/utm_source=blog&utm_medium=URLparameters&utm_campaign=digitalmarketing&utm_content=testurl
All that we see is a longer version of the website’s URL. But Google Analytics sees something far more important. They see data that gets sorted for you, and that can be used to analyze your Facebook or Instagram ads.
How to build URL parameters
You might not have taken a closer look at the parameter of the example above, but if you analyze the link, you can see that the parameter consists of four components. These are the utm_source, the utm_medium, the utm_campaign, and the utm_content. The text you write behind it is what Google Analytics uses to sort your data. If, for example, you use Facebook and Instagram as your advertising channels, you can write one of those down behind the utm_source section of your ads, depending on which platform you use for that particular ad. Google Analytics will then group the advertisements on Facebook together and do the same for those on Instagram.
To make your life easier, the Ads Manager has an area where you can write down your texts and the URL parameter gets created automatically. You can find this section in the bottom section of the ad, and you can access the area where you can write the text by clicking on “Build a URL parameter” (see the image below).
Example of a URL parameter
We have used one of our previous articles about marketing trends in 2022 for an ad. And by creating a URL parameter, it is possible to track its performance. The first thing we did was define all the components of the ad we placed. It was then placed on Facebook, and the goal was to receive as many clicks as possible. We also used a video to promote it.
Our campaign source was defined as “Facebook”, because this is the channel we used. In this case, we wanted to see the difference between cost-per-click(CPC) and cost-per-engagement(CPE) between different ads, which is why we chose to write “CPC” for our medium. Facebook advised us to write the placement of the ads, but choosing the goal is our way to get insights that better match our goals. The campaign name we chose was “marketingtrends”, which gave us a way to track the difference between ads about different topics. For content, we chose to write “video”, giving us the possibility to analyze the differences between videos and other types of content. In the picture below, you can see what the “Build a URL parameter” looked like.
How to improve your ads by analyzing your results
Once the URL parameters are created and your ad is gathering data, it is possible to compare the differences in Google Analytics. When you go to the “Acquisition” section and choose “Campaigns”, you will find the data for “All Campaigns”. You can choose the “Source”, Okay “Medium”, “Campaign Name,” or the “Ad Content” as your primary dimension, amongst other options. Choosing the right dimension gives you the insight that you’re looking for from the URL parameters.
In the case of our example, it is possible to compare all the Facebook ads with other sources. It is also possible to see if the CPC ads are performing better than the CPE ads, or if the video works better than other types of content. Lastly, it is possible to see how well this particular ad performed by choosing “Campaign Name” as our primary dimension. In the picture below, you can see how this looks in Google Analytics.
But that’s not all. Google Analytics gives you insight into all the key analytics, such as bounce rate, session duration, and even how many website visitors completed a goal on your website. Let’s say the “marketingtrends” campaign scored fourth place in users because the budget was lower than the other three campaigns, but the bounce rate was lower and there was a higher percentage of conversions even if the CPC was the same. Suddenly, the URL parameters are giving you very insightful information. The quality of this campaign is higher, so you could choose to shift more budget towards it. The same logic can be applied if one source outperforms the others, if one type of content outperforms the others, or if one medium produces the best results.
Optimizing your ads gives you better results for the same cost, and that is something that every marketer wants to achieve. URL parameters give you the opportunity to analyze and optimize your results by comparing what works best. Defining your URL parameters is a small but important step that is often overlooked by companies. Do you already use URL parameters to track your social media ads?